When a kid starts taking medications, several factors determine the success. Obviously, the treatment has to fit the symptoms to address the problem he’s facing. Also, getting the right dose at the right time using pill reminder app is just as important.
The reason the right dosage is so critical is that different children can respond distinctively to similar drugs even if they are the similar age and weight, and can experience similar side effects. When it comes to dosages, there is no such thing as a standard amount — only the range that has previously been proven effective. And it is shockingly wide.
Some parents choose to go with a dose that lies in the middle of the range, which is not a good idea. Because even if the dose is for only two kids, it’s probably going to be too little for one and way too much for the other. This can be quite frustrating at times because one child may stop taking the prescription since it doesn’t appear to work, while the other may end up suffering from side effects due to overdose. Parents may put the blame on medicine, but the reality is that their kids are taking the wrong amount.
So, how would you figure the appropriate dosage for your kid? To learn how the specialists work with children to determine the right amount of medicine, read on. (done)
How To Safely Increase The Dosage?
The best way to find the correct dosage is starting from the low end of the range and gradually increasing it to the point an effective level is reached. It’s important to check the kid’s response at each progression. This entire process may take from several weeks to months.
The standard guideline of health specialists begins from low end and at a slower pace. Sometimes, parents may pressurize the specialists to speed things up due to various reasons, but this is not a safe approach and may damage the kid’s health.
Some medicines have side effects that appear at the start of treatment, and they can become severe if the dosage is increased too quickly. For example, the SSRI antidepressants can cause agitation at first. But a specialist can limit this symptom by increasing the drug gradually.
Same applies to other medication.
When doctors prescribe medication, parents should ask for a clear explanation of treatment options.
They should broadly ask about the choices they have, types of medications they might use, and why a particular type is being recommended.
When a kid is on medication, parents are his partner not only in administering the medication on time but also determining the right dosage using a medication reminder app. At each step, the observations from parents will determine what should be the next step.
The data parents collect during this time will help doctors find the optimal dose. Remember that accurate communication is the key because sometimes even a small error can result in the wrong dosage.
How long it takes to determine the best dose depends on the type of medication your child is taking. Below we’ll briefly look at several types.
ADHD medications like Ritalin, Adderall take effect immediately in the body. So, you will see the effect of these medications from day 1. But it will take couple of days to get consistent reading of the effect.
Remember that everybody can get minor ailments like headache or an upset stomachache now and then, so don’t take these things as effect of the dose. But if the symptoms persist, they can be attributed to the medication.
Doctors may use different procedures to increase the dose, but all those procedures will consist of several days of readings of the child’s response to determine whether the dosage should be increased or not.
Antidepressants are the medications for those suffering from depression and anxiety.
They work by increasing neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Determining the right dose of these medications is far too tedious than ADHD meds because they are long-acting drugs. They have to build up in the brain first to take effect.
After the dose increase, if the feedback from patients say that they are anxious or having trouble sleeping, specialists will often adjust the dose right away to save the patient from suffering until the next appointment.
Note that while it takes antidepressants a month or two to get to the full effect for depression, anxiety responds more quickly – often a week or two into the treatment. A downside of these medications is that that they take so long to get to the full effect that patients and their families often lose patience, judging the medication as a failure.
Mood stabilizers are for patients with bipolar disorder. Lithium is one of the oldest and common medications to treat the disorder.
Treating bipolar disorder can be challenging because it involves two steps: reducing the symptoms of mania and diminishing the occurrence of manic episodes.
Since mood stabilizers alone aren’t effective enough to treat severe mania, antipsychotics are often prescribed alongside them.
A patient with bipolar disorder usually starts on a mood stabilizer and then moves to other medications depending on the progress.
If adding a second medication is necessary, do it gradually.
Kids with anxiety who don’t respond sufficiently to antidepressants may be prescribed benzodiazepines – another anti-anxiety medication. Kids who are constantly restless can also use these drugs at the beginning, alongside antidepressants. Additionally, these medications can be used on as-needed basis by individuals who experience panic attacks.
Remember that all these medications are to calm the kid with the above-mentioned disorder. Therefore, they should be utilized carefully using a pill tracker app. Otherwise, the patient may end up developing serious health problems.